Cadmium, lead, mercury, and aluminum are toxic metals that may interact metabolically with nutritionally essential metals. Iron deficiency increases absorption of cadmium, lead, and aluminum. Lead interacts with calcium in the nervous system to impair cognitive development. Cadmium and aluminum interact with calcium in the skeletal system to produce osteodystrophies. Lead replaces zinc on heme enzymes and cadmium replaces zinc on metallothionein. Selenium protects from mercury and methylmercury toxicity. Aluminum interacts with calcium in bone and kidneys, resulting in aluminum osteodystrophy. Calcium deficiency along with low dietary magnesium may contribute to aluminum-induced degenerative nervous disease.
Goyer RA. TOXIC AND ESSENTIALMETAL INTERACTIONS. Ann Rev of Nutr 1997. Vol 17; 37-50
The exact etiology of the disease is still unclear, but it appears that an inappropriate immune response to intestinal flora bacteria in people with a genetic predisposition may cause the disease. Oxidative stress and free radicals appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease, and a number of studies have suggested the use of antioxidants as a therapeutic approach. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of some trace elements have led some of the research to focus on studying these trace elements in inflammatory bowel disease. Zinc and selenium are among the most important trace elements that have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Vaghari-Tabari, M., Jafari-Gharabaghlou, D., Sadeghsoltani, F. et al. Zinc and Selenium in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Trace Elements with Key Roles?. Biol Trace Elem Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02444-w
Toxic metals potentially inactivate important enzyme systems, disturb cell function and are known to cause various chronic diseases. With an optimized supply of trace elements such as zinc and selenium, natural detoxification functions can be improved.